Several years ago at the beginning of the green ergonomic movement, I happened upon a set of gardening tools with ergonomic handles designed for people with arthritis or carpal tunnel symptoms. As an occupational therapist, I’m on the lookout for products I can recommend to my patients who enjoy gardening, woodworking or have to perform light household repairs. I wish I had held onto those, but they got away from me. Please share your experiences with any performance enhancing mainstream market or specialty items worthy of adding to a client recommendation list.
crmaslow, I have been a OT CHT for 25 years and have used the following gardening tools with good success for people in the situation you described. Of course each individual and tasks are different so that must be taken into acct. http://www.gardening-trends.com/ergonomic_garden_tools.php The forearm support enhances abilities, reduces stress and improves endurance. (I have no vested interest in this product). I have also had people try the tools that have the handles perpendicular to the tool shaft but we found they placed added stress to the wrist and grip. It wasn’t much better than the inline handles. Hope this helps and is a good addition.
Thank you for the reply. From the pictures provided on that link, I do agree you’re right about the angle of the handle being less stressful on the wrist joint. Recently I had a SNF patient with RA who was admitted for something totally different. However, the most benefit he received from O.T. was adapting a dressing stick handle so he could put on his pants. He was letting his wife do it for him so he would have energy for yard work. So yes, endurance is affected by grip. Go CHT’s!
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